5 Ways to Reduce Translation Costs and Keep Quality at the Same Time in 2022

Maybe you work at the marketing department of your company and have read the statistics that say only 25% of internet users read English and decided to translate your company website or eCommerce store into different languages.

While you have sold the idea of translation to your top managers, still have been assigned a limited budget to translate the content that you think is important for your international customers.

And you ask yourself “How can I reduce the translation costs, and achieve my targets at the same time?”

I am writing this article to answer this question for you.

Below you will find 5 strategies you can use to decrease translation costs and keep the quality at the same time.

#1: Use Translation Management Tools:

You may have to work with different people to finish one translation project. For example, you may need to work with translators, editors, project managers, graphic designers, and other stakeholders to finalize your project. 

So, why not use a Google Spreadsheet to track the progress of each phase?

Because you will have to look frequently to know the status of each phase and tracking the progress can be a difficult task. This means extra hours spent on a translation project, while you can do some other marketing tasks for the business. 

You can simply use A Translation Management System (TMS). a TMS  is simply a web application created mainly to streamline the management of translation projects. It is prepared to “virtually” connect translators, editors, project managers, and other stakeholders of the project.

A TMS can be used also for invoicing. You can ask your contractors to raise their invoices directly inside the TMS and connect it to a payment system. Note: this feature is not available in all TMSs

The best part is that many TMS includes a translation management interface, which translators can use it to do the translation work itself and run quality assurance procedures to improve the translation quality. 

Some popular TMSs are, Smartling,  Memsource, memoQ,, and XTM Cloud. 

How a Translation Management System reduces the translation cost:

  • Manage different tasks in one dashboard, saves you hours of admin work.
  • Reduce the time to manage different stakeholders.
  • Scale your translation projects using one tool.

# 2:Use a Translation-Work-Friendly Format

Gone are the days when translators look at printed copies of your content to do the translation work. 

All professional translators use a digital format now when they practice translation, but not all digital formats are equal. 

When I say a “translation-work-friendly” format I mean format that makes it easy for translators to integrate it with their software and applications. 

Let me elaborate via examples.

Sending a scanned copy of the contract you want to translate means additional work for translators and time will be longer to translate, hence the translation cost will be higher

While sending your content in an MS Word document means they can easily overwrite the source text or add the document to the software of their choice to manage the translation process. This means less time to do the translation, which can turn into lower translation costs for you. 

Translating the website of your business? You can simply send them HTML files of the website and they can do it easily. 

How a translation-wor-friendly” format reduces the translation cost:

  • It can save the time of the translators, so they will charge you less.
  • You can use the same format in the future easily with other translators.
  • You will have a wider pool of translators, with different prices, to choose from.

# 3: Create Translation Memories:

If you need to take one tip from this article, that would be it.

Create translation memories for your translation projects.

Translation memory is a file translators use to retain all their translations and use it when a similar task comes. 

Let me give you a case where a translation memory becomes very handy. 

Let’s say, your company produces different models of washing machines. Each model will have a different user manual, that speaks about its unique features. But all user manuals will have some similar content, such as the legal warranty and the troubleshooting sections. 

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So, Why pay for the legal warranty translation each time you translate a user manual?

You can ask your translators to retain the translations inside a translation memory file. They can restore the legal warranty translation when you want to translate the next user manual. 

Translation memories can only be beneficial when translators use Computer-Assisted-Translation (CAT) tools. They are a type of software used to manage the human translation of any content. Translators connect the Translation Memory file to their CAT tool of choice and it runs in the background to retain the translation generated by the human translator.

How a translation memory reduces the translation cost:

  • Save the translations of your content and restore it in the future.
  • Reduce the number of words to be translated.
  • Decrease the number of quality checks in the future.

# 4: Hire Professional Translation Specialists: 

Here is a story we hear frequently from clients.

A client has an important piece of content to be translated; like translating a website or a marketing brochure.

Let’s discuss the case of a marketing brochure.

Thinking that any native speaker can do the work, they ask one of their in-house team members to translate it. They print the brochure and show it to their prospects. 

Then, they are shocked by the negative feedback about the translation after spending money to print the brochure and not getting the expected result of their translation.

Yes, the translation may be correct, but the style and tone may not be the best thing to present their products or services. 

Can you guess the reason?

They did not hire a specialist to do the translation! Some people think native speakers can do translation work easily. But this is not the case.

Translation is an art and a science at the same time. Only native speakers who studied and practiced the different translation approaches can do the trick and provide creative translations that generate your expected results. 

Using a local team as they are native speakers does not guarantee you will get the best results you are looking for. Hiring a professional translator who has a track record of similar tasks, can improve your results.

How hiring professional translators reduces translation costs:

  • Professional translators have a better chance of providing quality work the first time.
  • You will not have to waste the time of your in-house team on tasks they are not hired for.
  • Professional translators can finish the work quicker than non-specialists.

# 5: Prepare a Translation Brief:

A translation brief is simply a document you prepare before you start the translation process itself. 

The brief set a common ground between you as a translation buyer and the translators who will do the job.

Inside the brief, you need to include information about the volume of the project; the number of words, pages, or hours. This will make it easy for the translation team to estimate the cost and the timeline needed to complete the project. 

Also, you can include guidelines for things like your preferred style for the translation depending on who will read the final translation. Are they well-educated people? Do you need a creative translation for mediums such as TVs and advertising campaigns?

Tell the translators if you need localization of names, measuring units, and other things inside the content to be translated. 

All this information can help you better manage the translation project.

Here is how a translation brief can help you reduce the cost:

  • It reduces the back and forth between you and the translators. 
  • It provides your expectations for the translation quality, so you don’t have to redo the work.


Managing a translation project for your business can be an overwhelming task with many moving parts, one of them being cost.

Only thinking about reducing the translation cost can be a fatal mistake, if it affects the quality of your translation. Decreasing the cost can be achieved by using different technologies and hiring the best human resources for the job, aka professional translators. 

If you need to work with a professional team of translators, you can definitely reach out to TranslaitonPartner at any time from any timezone.